After a new discovery of natural gas reserves off the coast of Senegal, Guillaume Defaux, Kosmos Energy general manager sheds some light for ANA. According to him, the potential exists for further discoveries.
Exploration and evaluation activities have been satisfactory, can you give more details on the next steps?
Over the past year, Kosmos Energy has planned and drilled five exploration and appraisal wells in Mauritania and Senegal, offshore. Each well contained a large volume of natural gas for a 100% success rate in finding hydrocarbons. Our forward plan has two objectives: The first consists in working for the development of large natural gas resources that straddle the maritime border of Mauritania and Senegal as the cooperation between the two countries and Kosmos is essential to strengthen the credibility to potential investors and gas buyers and to ensure progress at a necessary pace. Kosmos has successfully worked with both national oil companies, and Petrosen Mauritanian oil company and mining heritage, to develop the project. A recently signed agreement set out the principles which underpin the project. We hope to finalize an intergovernmental cooperation agreement by the end of 2016. The other goal is to continue the exploration of hydrocarbons, including oil, in Mauritania and Senegal. We drilled only five wells in an area covering approximately 40,000 km2. We continue to believe that there is much more potential in offshore oil and gas that has been discovered in the two countries. To increase our chances in succeeding, we will suspend drilling operations for a period of time, and this, to analyze the data we have collected so far. This will help us choose the best prospects for drilling. When we resume our drilling activities, we will probably drill further west offshore. Although we have opened a new major oil system, and we have made good progress in the developing an understanding a basin, we are only an embryonic phase of the process. Hydrocarbon production is years away and will require significant investment.
Can we assume that Kosmos will be the operator ?
Kosmos remains operator in its offshore license areas of Senegal and Mauritania.
Do you have an idea of the oil potential currently available?
We continue to believe in the oil and gas potential in our license areas offshore Senegal. Kosmos has invested about $ 250 million in exploration offshore Senegal, since entering the country in 2014, and we are ready to continue investing in the 3D seismic surveys and exploration drilling to better understand the oil system and unlock its full potential.
Can we have a comparison with other basins in the world to give a bit of potential out?
A complete understanding of the petroleum system in Mauritania-Senegal is still being developed. With five exploration and evaluation wells Kosmos discovered 25 million cubic feet of natural gas. Based on what we know now, we believe that the petroleum system could hold more than 50 Tcf in potential resources.
By Mouhamed Camara